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Terry Smith’s Site

Odessa, Ukraine

2008 Black Sea Melodies:
Went on a "Highlights" organised tour, well worth it. First stop was Catherine the Great's Statue and we had a walk (through some road works, how unlike home!) to County Hall, splendid building. Then to the Opera House, another splendid building. Next stop the Cathedral. A Service was going on so we kept a respectful distance and it was something special to see the number and variety of people who were going up for Communion. Next up was a Naval memorial (a sort of Cleopatra's Needle) overlooking the sea. Another bonus, there was a parade of Naval Cadets, who were passing out, and a Military Band. Not finished yet, next was a Fine Arts Museum which contained lots of paintings by Soviet / Russian / Ukrainian artists. We were particularly taken by one called "The Village" by Kolesnikov. In one particularly nice room the lady in charge of the room indicated to Edna (by humming a Strauss Waltz etc.) that it was the Ballroom and they ended up having a little dance. Lots of smiles and chuckling - no words needed.
After lunch on board we went into the City again, walked up the Potemkin Steps (192 of them). Watch out for the locals who try to give you change for 100 euro notes. It's a scam apparently. Whether they pass counterfeit or what I don't know, didn't wait to find out. Back to the Opera House. Weddings are conducted in the Town Hall and then the couples have their photos taken in the grounds of the Opera House. Beautiful brides, as Edna said "like something out of Vogue or Brides Magazine."
Terrific day.

The Potemkin Steps